Post-Pax East thoughts

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Hey guys, figured I should finally start following through on my promises to more content on New Comic Day. So we’re going to start with me talking about my weekend!

This weekend was the Penny Arcade expo (Aka PAX East) at the Boston Convention Center here in Massachusetts. I’ve been lucky enough to get a press badge last year and this year through the Why I Love Comics podcast. (For those readers that don’t know, that’s my podcast. You can check it out here, audio from the show coming Thursday!) It’s the second show they run, PAX Prime is in Seattle (hoping to make it out to that this year) and PAX Australia is out in Australia (obviously).

Anyways it’s a gaming convention and probably as big if not bigger then E3 which unlike the PAX show’s isn’t actually open to the public. I think that’s actually one of my personal favorite things about this kind of convention, no matter who you are or what kind of gamer or what type of press you’re reporting for; you can feel at home and a part of something at this type of convention.

FRIDAY:

I dropped off my stuff at buddies apartment and forgot to leave my derby, so I actually ended up wearing that all day. But for the record I was already wearing a dress shirt, tie and vest so hey, I figured it was probably a good idea to continue looking as dapper as humanly possible.

Seriously, how can you not want to look this dapper.

After a quick bag check at security (security at events is heightened for very obvious reasons), I was able to pick up my badge which had my name and the podcast on it which honestly? I dig the heck out of those types of badges.

Sometimes I nerd out over the simplest of things. ;)

Of course the place was bigger than it was last year. When I was able to enter the hall, after checking out the press room I made my way to the expo hall and very quickly found myself facing this:

I felt like I was in the sims, how do you get through this crowd?!

Seriously, how are you supposed to get through this? In fact my biggest complaint about the whole weekend was the fact that the crowds were very difficult to get through. You could tell that they were trying their best to keep the crowds moving but at times all weekend it was frustrating to get through the exhibit hall. (all the bigger conventions have this problem though so I can’t completely fault them on this one)

When I did get on the shoor floor I went immediately to the indie gaming area which has taken over about 45 percent of the show floor, which is just incredible. There are so many amazing indie games being made right now (and I got addicted to several this weekend) that I love just how much Pax supports them. Friday I got to play the updated version of Secret Ponchos by Switchblade Monkeys, Mushroom 11 by Untame games and the very awesome Guns of Icarus by Muse Games. All of which are absolutely amazing and I will be talking about in a separate piece in the next few days.

While exploring the indie area, I got to meet for the second time one of my personal favorite youtubers and just all around awesome guy, Jesse Cox. Who for those that don’t know is the inspiration behind the appearance of Thanos in this very strip and I did talk about that a bit to him and give him a copy of that very strip Thanos strip which was beyond awesome. He’s seriously someone that’s become a huge inspiration to me so getting to spend any time just hanging out with him was a real pleasure.(Behold the awesomeness of Jesse!)

Yes that's Tim Schafer behind us, I'm not a complete dummy.

I also got to spend some time with Team Beardman (Jirard Khalil, Alex Faciane and Greg Wilmont) who are just 3 of the nicest guys on the planet, even better is the fact that Jirard and I talk on twitter every once and a while and he remembered meeting me from last year. He’s seriously one of the nicest content creators on the internet and deserves a bigger audience then he actually has. Spent about 45 minutes with them walking around on the show floor before my next appointment and it was really fun just hanging out with those guys. (The Completionist)

I also got to spend some time talking with newer friend, Ciji Thornton who is seriously just like the others one of the sweetest people you’d imagine. Super approachable and it wasn’t awkward at all. Plus thanks to her I’m now addicted to Bardbarian, which like I’ve said 2 paragraphs ago I will be talking about in a separate piece. Ciji is also one of the co-hosts of the Gamergirlsgonewild podcast which is one of my new favorite podcasts since I started listening. I didn’t actually meet her co-host but here’s hoping somewhere down the line we’ll be doing a “crossover” and I’ll be having them on my show. (Gamergirlsgonewild podcast)

All in all Friday was a very good day, getting used to where everything was and meeting up with friends. (My friend Michaiayla stopped me up near the cafeteria at one point during the day and I spent some time waiting with her in line for her lunch and just catching up. I never get to see her because she lives in Seattle so it’s great seeing her at conventions)  Of course I went back to my buddies house, we went and got Tasty Burger (if you’re ever near Fenway, go to Tasty Burger…you will thank me!) and then watched The Wolf of Wall Street which is a fantastic movie.

Of course I had no idea what Saturday would have in store for me…

SATURDAY:

Saturday was Cosplay day. By that I mean that I was going to be in costume all day with absolutely no changing or no breaks. It was a choice I made specifically for the convention as I wanted to wear my brand new Riddler costume. I’d updated it since New York Comic Con and there was going to be nothing in my way to stop me from wearing it.

This is the face of a man who really needs some caffeine in his system

So I excitedly headed to the convention, ready for a day of madness and hope that Batman wouldn’t end me the second he saw me. Seriously, I was pretty excited. There was even going to be a DC costume meet up at the Infinite Crisis booth.

So yeah the DC Infinite Crisis Costume Contest/meet up was a lot of fun. There were some very cool cosplayers who I hope to eventually find and friend on facebook. We all had a blast talking with and hanging out with each other and if you go to the official website you can check out more of the pictures. I will link you here to the livestream (We’re at the 2:47 mark)

Seriously, look at the talent!!!

There’s a competition if you want to go on the Infinite Crisis website and check it out, the guys on the right aren’t actually part of it though. I think they were there with the actual game. Amazing costumes though and there’s a very cute Harley Quinn currently winning the competition that I think definitely deserves the win.

Just being on that livestream was an honor though and the people running the booth and the host were all amazing. Hoping to still find more of the pictures from the event as the week rolls on.

Of course my favorite moment of the day while in costume came when I least expected it. I was walking the show floor and saw my buddy James in his “Boston Strong” Deadpool gear talking with Matches Malone. Matches for those that don’t know is a very big Batman cosplayer who does a lot of charity work and has an amazing costume and just one of the nicest cosplayers I’ve ever met. So I went to say hi to the guys as I haven’t talked to Matches in quite a long time. First time we ever met was during Boston Comic Con when he was wearing the Batman cowl and had a t-shirt on that said not Bruce Wayne.

Don't worry guys, Deadpool totally had it coming.

But after a whole bunch of people took our pictures together (because why wouldn’t they want pictures of Batman with one of his greatest rogues?) Matches complimented my costume and told me he really liked it. That meant a lot coming from him because I haven’t been cosplaying for long and to hear someone who has been doing it for quite a while now compliment a costume I put a lot of time and money in it meant the world to me. I know it’s probably lame to admit getting a bit teary eyed at such a compliment but it’s the truth. Just means a lot to hear it from him.

I sadly didn’t get to play that many games on Saturday with just how busy the show floor was, it’s why it was technically a good thing being in costume because people would ask for your picture but you could go off to the side with them and be safe away from the crowds which on Saturday were impossible to get through. I think I went up to the press room to de-stress about 4 or 5 times. (And apparently my friend Melissa was up there too and didn’t realize it was me in the costume so didn’t say hi. Funny how those things can happen sometimes)

I did get one interview in with very cool developers Tin Man Games who make choose your own adventure games that are basically moving novels that you make the choice in on IOS and android devices. I really enjoyed talking with them and I’ve been very slowly making my way through one of their games, which as I’ve said twice already will be a separate piece of writing.

Oh and it was very fun to spend lunch with my friend James and his friends in the cafeteria. Sometimes it’s great to just sit around and unwind from the craziness of a convention. It was pure luck that they had the table space too but was very thankful that they did.

The only negative of the day at least to me was that I decided not to go to the Infinite Crisis after party, I really wanted to but was so wiped out by the end of the day that I decided to go back to my buddies place. To which we ended up playing some Smash Bro’s on the Wii which was a lot of fun.

SUNDAY:

I woke up intentionally early, it was the last day of the show and I wanted to get as much done as I possibly could before leaving that night. So I got to the convention center right at 10 and hit the show floor running.

In no particular order I was able to check out Always Sometime Monsters, Wayward Souls, Aarus Awakening, Gods Will Be watching, World Zombination, Not a hero and a few more I can’t think of right now but I was definitely completely in the mindset of basically running myself to tiredness to play everything I possibly could. To say I’m anticipating all these games is an understatement. There’s just so much good stuff coming out.

I got to hang with Team Beardman a bit more on Sunday and we finally got a picture together, hopefully the guys will be coming on the podcast somepoint this month it really depends on scheduling. I really had a blast spending as much time as I did with them this weekend and it’s great to see how the guys hang out with their fanbase.

Greg has the best reactions.

Also managed to get a picture with Ciji finally at the end of the weekend which was pretty funny. My camera managed to be awesome and get a great picture.

No, I have no idea what's going on with my hand.

Then of course I ended my day by going to the VGA meet up. They’re definitely some of my favorite youtubers and honestly just getting the chance to have a full on conversation with Fraser meant a lot this year. Sometimes when I have a terrible day and see a new episode of VGA go up with a full playlist, I watch it right away to cheer up and it absolutely works.

Fraser and Becky rock, the end.

Got to talk cosplay with Becky for a little bit too which was pretty awesome, she makes them amazing costumes for the show so getting to show her my Riddler gear and her saying how awesome it was kind of made my day even better. Like I said, this really was such a positive weekend for me and people like Fraser and Becky just made it even better. (Check out their show!!!)

Final Verdict:

PAX East this year was a great show, I had an amazing time. There were moments where I got a little overwhelmed and next year I need to upgrade equipment and get someone to help me to really achieve better coverage. I played a lot of games, met and re-met some of my favorite people and really just did what everyone should do at a convention which is be yourself and have a great time.

Don’t over estimate what you can handle and do and just try your best to get everything out of it you possibly can.

Thanks for reading guys and as always, I’ll catch you on the next one!

My hair is as crazy as Doc Brown's

PS -

So here’s the plan for the blog part of the site for the future:

More reviews, whether it be gaming or comics or movies or whatever else is really on my mind. The sky is the limit. The first couple are actually going to be first impressions on games that I played during the show and telling you guys what I think you should be checking out. Hopefully you dig it.

Convention blogs, full of photo’s and just trying to tell you guys about all the stuff I’ve been able to do and check out.

Videos, whether they be from Brant, George or myself we’ll be posting more videos. Some of them will be reviews from Comic Frontline as well!

The Why I Love Comics podcast – Whether it be the live show after it airs or the audio version of the show I am going to start posting more of them here. We have a very cool and steady readership and I want to give you guys more content to match it.